Janna Thompson is shown near the jeans display against the wall of Maurice’s at the Centennial Mall, 1111 W. Victory Way. Thompson, who has worked at the store since June, graduated from MCHS in May and plans to study acting in Los Angeles next year.

Photo by Andy Bockelman

Janna Thompson is shown near the jeans display against the wall of Maurice’s at the Centennial Mall, 1111 W. Victory Way. Thompson, who has worked at the store since June, graduated from MCHS in May and plans to study acting in Los Angeles next year.

My Life, My Words: Janna Thompson — ‘Helping people dress for success’

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Occupation:

Sales associate at Maurice’s

“I started working here June 1. I did this as well as lifeguarding to make some money for school. I decided to stick around for a year so I could go next September. I graduated (from Moffat County High School) in May.

“I like working at Maurice’s because I needed business experience. I’m going to school for acting for film, and I did speech and debate for four years, but I needed a business edge. Selling clothes is a lot like selling your product in acting, and that’s really what I was struggling with, getting out there. I love fashion, too.

“It’s important to look like the job you want to have, so you should always take care of your outside appearance. I like to make people feel good, and we have old people that come in here and young people that come in here, and it’s always rewarding when you see them smile. They can be getting stuff for an interview or a date or anything.

“I think girls just have the intuition to want to be pretty. They used to have a men’s line here and it didn’t work out very well, corporate-wise, so they just got a bigger work section for the women.

“I like that it’s positive competition here. You have to sell so much credit and actual product, and you encourage each other, but you also go off of each other, like, ‘Oh, this girl did really well this week, so I’m going to try to be like her and bring my stats up.’

“People here typically want three or four different styles of clothes, so we can give them a lot of what they really want. We always have new products in, and I think that’s good because instead of just having a mass variety of different stuff, we can really make it local and say, ‘This is what this town wants.’ With Maurice’s, no two stores always have the same products. It’s always different from store to store.

“I’m going to the Aaron Speiser Acting School in Los Angeles (next year). I’ve been looking for schools for five years, really studying. There are so many studios in Hollywood saying, ‘Oh, we’ll make you famous!’ And, 99.9-percent of them are rip-offs. I’ve learned some of that the hard way. They’ll promise you everything. Aaron really works with his students, he has a limited number of students. He’s worked with some really famous people, like he taught Will Smith. And he’s always open to having his students come back, like Will goes back there frequently. I’ve talked to him on the phone, but I haven’t met him yet. He’s funny, he has a good teaching style, and he’ll teach you as much as you want to learn.

“I wanted to stay away from general college because I didn’t really see the point of wasting my time in a biology course when I’m trying to be a film major.

“I like this job because I like to study people. In an uncreepy way. You just see what people are talking about, what they like and levitate toward and why. I think you really get to study people that way and that’s what I liked about lifeguarding, too. You get to watch how people act and you can use that in how you act.

“Having the business experience here is always good. When you’re faced with challenges like, ‘I’m going to a wedding tomorrow, help me,’ you spend so much time with each customer and you have to know what you have, where you have it and come up with a plan very quickly. I think that’s the same in acting because the director will say, ‘We’re doing this shot in so many minutes on this page. Be ready.’”

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